– YAZOO CITY, MS
At age 99, Leola Dillard says the 13th annual “free flea market” she held in her front yard on Make A Difference Day was her last. Her many admirers are skeptical. “We’ve heard that before!” says Dillard lieutenant Gloria Owens. “She’s always giving, giving, giving, and motivating others to do the same.”
We honored Dillard with our national award in 2009 after 10 free flea markets and 12 years of helping her less fortunate neighbors on Make A Difference Day. Early last Oct. 22, 50-plus volunteers once again transformed Dillard’s lawn into a mini-mall crammed with community-donated items for people in need. More than 400 came to “shop” for clothing, towels, furniture, photo frames, books, bikes and “what-nots” that had been stored for weeks in Dillard’s modest house and two portable storage units.
McArthur Straughter, mayor of this town of 14,000 in America’s poorest state, says Dillard is a living legend who has been “an inspiration to our city for years.” Adding to the legend: She honchoed the preparations for October’s market from her hospital bed after suffering a mild stroke. She was released only a week before the day she calls “the highlight of my year.” Says the mayor: “Make A Difference Day is one of the biggest days we have. Hundreds of people turn out for Mrs. Dillard, and then they go back into their communities and do good.”
If you’re having any problems voting, please CLICK HERE for updated options instead of leaving a comment on this page.
- Facebook Tips & Tricks for Make A Difference Day
- Small businesses can Make a Difference with Causetown
- Post a project, get involved!
- Port Huron projects eligible for $5,000 grant
- Make a difference ANY day!
- Members of Congress recognize our National Honorees
- Waukegan school playground honored by Make a Difference Day
- Honorees recognized by The White House
- From The White House blog: Volunteers to the rescue
- From The White House blog: The BIG DIG inspires community pride